Jeskola Buzz - Machine View
|Developer(s)||Oskari Tammelin of Jeskola|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Type||Digital music workstation|
Jeskola Buzz is a freeware modular software music studio environment designed to run on Microsoft Windows via Microsoft .NET. It is centered around a modular plugin-based machine view and a multiple pattern sequencer tracker (as opposed to a single pattern sequencer tracker).
Buzz consists of a plugin architecture that allows the audio to be routed from one plugin to another in many ways, similar to how cables carry an audio signal between physical pieces of hardware. All aspects of signal synthesis and manipulation are handled entirely by the plugin system. Signal synthesis is performed by "Generators" such as synthesizers, noise generator functions, samplers, and trackers. The signal can then be manipulated further by "Effects" such as distortions, filters, delays, and mastering plugins. Buzz also provides support through adapters to use VST/VSTi, DirectX/DXi, and DirectX Media Objects as Generators and Effects.
A few new classes of plugins do not fall under the normal Generator and Effect types. These include Peer Machines (signal and event automated controllers), Recorders, Wavetable editors, Scripting engines, etc. Buzz signal output also uses a plugin system; the most practical drivers include ASIO, DirectSound, and MME. Buzz supports MIDI both internally and through several enhancements. Some midi features are limited or hacked together such as MIDI clock sync.
The program has created a large community of musicians, and hundreds of machines made by several plugin developers. Some of these developers have gone on to create DirectX and VST plugins. Other developers, who have released commercial DirectX and VST plugins, have released Buzz versions of their plugins. Some developers have been inspired by the application to create "Buzz clones".
Oskari has recently restarted development on Buzz with builds being released regularly from June till recent.
The development of the core program, buzz.exe, was halted on October 5, 2000, when the developer lost the source code to the program. It was announced in June 2008 that development would begin again, and the several subsequent releases have regained much of the functionality of the last 2000 software release, and have included some modernised features and graphics. During the period when the source was considered lost and development on the core of buzz was stalled, many new and unique ideas were developed using the existing plugin interface and binary "hacks".
Buzz was originally known as the first "3rd Generation Tracker" in 1997-98. Since then, through the help of programmers and addons like CyanPhase Overloader and BTDSys Peer machines which modify and transmit control data to other machines, Buzz has evolved beyond the traditional tracker model and become a unique and powerful piece of audio software, often drawing comparisons to features found in similar applications like Max/MSP, Pure Data, Reaktor, Bidule and Usine.
Buzz's plugin system is intended to be a (non-commercial, free-as-in-beer) freeware-only plugin format. This desire has been respected by the community, except for a certain time for Jeskola XS-1. Almost all plugins released to the Buzz scene can be found at BuzzMachines.com, a centralized webpage that provides a way for the entire community to access new plugins.
The header files used to compile new plugins (known as the Buzzlib) contain a small notice that they are only to be used for making freeware plugins and Buzz file music players. In the case of entire software suites, Buzz clones, or sequencers that want to use the Buzz plugin system, the author asks for a fee. In 2001, Image-Line Software paid to add Buzz support to their commercial program, FL Studio. This created a controversy within the community because Image Line redistributed many Buzz machines without obtaining the authors permission, while the commercial aspect of the application did not sit well with several freeware plugin developers. A truce was reached when Image-Line Software gave time for the developers to opt-out of the deal.
Jeskola Buzz was followed by a number of similar digital musical editors. Some of them are listed below.
- Andrew Sega
- Andreas Tilliander
- James Holden, whose early work was produced entirely within Buzz.
- Oliver Lieb
- The Field 
- Buzztard is an effort to recreate a Buzz-like environment under a free software license which runs under Linux.
- Visual programming language
- Future Music magazine, June 2000, p100. http://aijai.net/~apo/buzz/Buzz-FM.jpg
- Andrew Sega (2007-04-27). "Taking Tracking Mainstream Part 5" (video). notacon.org. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
- "BUZZ/SAW : Mokira in Miami". 2002-07-18. Archived from the original on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2011-01-21.
- Napora, Lukasz (2003-08-22). "James Holden Interview". Archived from the original on 2009-04-04. Retrieved 2012-01-21.
- "James Holden". beatfactor.net. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2012-05-05. "The stuff everyone is really interested in begins aged 19, with a track called “Horizons”. Written during his summer holidays from his maths degree at Oxford University on a £500 PC and a piece of revolutionary music software called Buzz (a freeware internet download), this crossover anthem of the summer of 1999 propelled young James and his bedroom set-up into the top flight of dance music production."
- Day, David (2007-04-16). "The Field". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
- BuzzMachines.com - The central buzz website for the last couple of years, since Oskari's own web site ceased to host Buzz distributions anymore. Several distributions of Buzz which include the core and selected plugins are distributed through this website.
- Jeskola Buzz Latest beta versions of Buzz
- Andrew Sega: Taking Tracking Mainstream Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 Tracking history with Buzz presentation, Notacon conference, April 27, 2007